I cleared my throat after driving for about 5 minutes in silence.
“so what’s your name?” I asked the driver” and how long have you been working for Mr Benson? ”
“Am Simon” he looked at me adding a Kaonde surname which I couldn’t pronounce.
” so” I sighed.” Simon it is,” I said looking at him. He was very tall and dark, in fact very dark if I may add.
He answered my second question after negotiating some potholes ahead of us his long hands holding the steering tight. I was almost becoming bored with his driving, he was too slow but I let it pass for that day..I was always a fast driver and with the emergency of the case at hand I really wished he could go faster.
“I have worked for the big man for almost 4 years now” he told me when the road was finally smooth.
“Well you must know much about him and his family?” I giggled leading him to say more.
“Not much” he declined.
“all i do is run small errands for him and sometimes am asked to drive him or his spoiled daughter around.”
Something clicked in me..
“what?” I thought to myself.. ‘spoiled’ well, that was something. Judging from his expression, I could tell it was either jealousy of Mr Benson and his daughter or he was Paula’s admirer. I kept to myself though. I didn’t want to show my concern in that area, so I played along just to take as much information as I could.
“You know these people just come from God knows where and think they can just take our mines” he added.
I smiled sheepishly..
“yeah you know, you are right. it’s somehow not fair aiii” I continued just to encourage him to speak out his heart. It’s easy to find clues from people working close because they might just give you an idea of what is trully going on around someone’s life, especially the type of Mr Benson, the rich and famous.
So I let him say some more but what came out later was just some words that indicated jealousy and envy. I even discovered he did nothing worth talking about in terms of education he only managed to pass in 2 subjects at grade 12, though he was still holding on to the fantasy of persuing further studies.
I received a call as I was busy analysing the driver Simon.
“Helo!” I answered at the second ring of my phone.
I was told to wait at some place and I asked Simon if he knew where the place was, he nodded.
We had been driving for almost 25 minutes by then and when we came to a halt. Simon pointed at some bar on the outskates of town..
” that’s the place” he pointed at a small thatched building with a small poster written, Welcome to Chinsaka’s Krall.
Instead of waiting for the other guys Mr Benson had sent, I told Simon to driver back further away from the Bar, walked there slowly as usual hands in my pockets.
I was greeted by a fat and light in complexion woman who smiled or maybe I can just say grinned widely exposing her yellow teeth, which I could notice even when it was almost getting dark.
“Helo!” I greeted her back in my poor kaonde. she smiled and instead answered back in Bemba.
“stranger ?” She asked, I smiled at her..
“I would prefer visitor” I suggested.
“What can i offer you” she asked as she indicated me to sit down.
“oh not yet” I said politely. “Am waiting for someone but I would love to ask you a few questions” I added before she walked away. she stood close to me and I almost regreted calling her back she had a strong scent of sweat, rather a combination of dirty and sweat.
“What kind of people do you normally have here?” I asked her smiling as I pretended to be checking her out. I could see her coming on to me and I had to use it to my advantage..
“All kinds” she said raising her hands like saying ‘the whole’ world. I let a laugh in my head. she trully wasn’t exposed at all and according to her that was the best Bar in the whole world.
“Well I love it here it’s quite and nice. who are those guys then?” I asked her further pointing with my eyes at some group of boys seated in the corner with their table filled with bottles of Mosi and Castle lagers.
“Oh those are the top boys in Solwezi” she whispered.. “don’t dare mess with them” she added getting closer to my face.. “their boss will soon be here, you will see” she told me..
“okay then thank you swity ” I said with a flirt smile..
she rigggled her big behind as she walked back to the counter. I shook my head.
” wonders shall never end .. how posible is it for this old hag even think I would lay with her..” I asked myself laughing almost showing off my teeth before I composed myself and concentrated.
There was something fishy about the group in the corner. Though the lady didn’t say much I could tell the Bar was some kind of meeting place and hide out for the bad guys. I slowly walked to the counter and ordered a bottle of water just to make sure I had a good sight of the guys in the corner. In seconds I counted 6 of them, probably drug dealers and thieves. I thought. I took a couple of seconds to grasp atleast 3 of their faces, satisfied. I walked back to my table but before I could sit, I saw their leader walk in.
There were few other people in the bar but it’s like he got everyone’s attention. I looked closely without him noticing, he was the guy I was looking for.
My skin grew some goose bumps, not that i was scared but my couriosity grew large. I almost went for him but I tried to pretend pressing the small buttons on my phone as he passed by my Table. I could bet his eyes where on me but I didn’t raise up my head to look at him, my looks were obviously foreign and probably better than theirs. I knew for sure he would not recognise me to be the person who knocked himout in the forest. since he never got the chance to see my face.
My phone beeped and I walked out, two guys stood by the small road leading to the bar. I quickly realised they were the ones sent by Mr Benson then called them and told them about about the guy inside.
“Let’s wait for him here” I suggested.
“there are 7 guys, it won’t be easy for us to confront them straight on. we are out numbered..”
Almost an 3 hours later, the guy walked out with two other guys with bottles beer in their hands, we durked in the car to avoid being seen and as he opened his Corona car parked a few meters from us. I whispered to the driver to follow him. The two guys with him remained behind and We saw him join the road alone.
We drove behind him for almost 15 minutes before he joined a township road, the street lights shining on us and I instructed Simon to reduce the speed and follow at a distance.
He parked at a well built house, with a short wall fence, it was incomplete. I knew then that our guy was involved in some shoddy business for him to have bult such A house for himself. He didnt look like one who was working nor Educated for that matter.
I decided to watch his house for an hour from outside, satisfied there was no one outside, i told the two guys with me to wait outside as I climbed the small wall fence and jumped inside..
Slowly I went in through the back door. I had to be fast cause the lights were giving me away, I was too exposed..
The good part is the guy was so drunk he left the door open so I pushed the handle and opened it.
I was inside a room with some cheap sofa and a small screen LG TV. As I debated which room to go to I froze, in the passage. Someone opened some bedroom door and I stood like a statue…
“Dammit!” I screamed in my head.
To be continued